Very interesting observation, Llowell Williams, and one I’ve been writing about off and on for a while. Depending on how you ask the question, by the way, Muslim Americans look even more accepting and evangelical Christians less. In fact, in a recent PRRI study, Muslims Americans look more progressive on LGBTQ issues than mainline Protestant Christians. Those numbers may be skewed a bit, though, by how you define “mainline.”

In any case, I have a lot of progressive Muslim friends because I spent years living in the Detroit area, where Muslims have been putting down roots for generations. I owned a business in the municipality of Hamtramck, which has a majority-Muslim population and city council. So, I have pretty good personal perspective.

I wrote an article not long ago about how my progressive Muslim friends take a lot of abuse, how they’re often told by people on both the right and the left that no “real Muslim” can be progressive. I tried to shatter a few myths and lend some insight into how incredibly diverse the Muslim world is.

I didn’t get very far. While my story got plenty of readership, the responses I got on social media were very discouraging. The flames and vitriol I attracted on Facebook were intense and incendiary. And they didn’t come from right-wing people. My followers and readers almost all describe themselves as liberal or progressive.

It was really instructive for me to see such a tide of condemnation coming from people who supposedly value diversity and tolerance.

So, thanks for your story. It’s an important one!


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Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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